Sunday 23 September 2012

206. Have You Got Any Castles? (1938)

Warner cartoon no. 205.
Release date: June 25, 1938.
Series: Merrie Melodies.
Supervision: Frank Tashlin.
Producer: Leon Schlesinger.
Starring: Mel Blanc (Town Crier / Praying Baby / Rip Wan Winkle / Alladin), Delos Jewkes (Old King Cole), Ted Pierce (W.C. Fields), Georgia Stark (Heidi), and the Four Blackbirds (Vocalists). (Keith Scott - please confirm if the casting is accurate).
Story: Jack Miller.
Animation: Ken Harris.
Musical Direction: Carl W. Stalling.
Sound: Treg Brown (uncredited).
Synopsis: Books of literature come to life singing contemporary popular songs.

When the cartoon was released restored for the Looney Tunes Golden Collection, Volume 2 - the Alexander Woolcott Town Crier scenes were restored for the set as it was deleted during its reissue Blue Ribbon print. It was lost for years but is now available on the DVD set. My question is, however, if they managed to save the footage of the Town Crier - then wouldn't that come from the original print with original titles? It kind of confuses me because of that it is still shown as a 'Blue Ribbon'.

The cartoon then begins as we find that a cuckoo then pops out of the cuckoo clock making 'cuckoo' sounds as the clock has now striked at 12. We then start to PAN through the room in which there is some snow falling that came from outside the window. We then start to pan to a silhouetted shadow of the Town Crier ringing his bell. The pan then continues as we then find the Alexander Woolcott Town Crier continues to ring his bell gently before beginning his monologue.

"Hear ye, Hear ye, hear ye" begins the Town Crier in this cartoon. He is standing behind a book that is called The Town Crier which is actually his own radio show that he had on CBS and that's why its parodied here in this opening. Today - an audience would believe that joke would be completely forgotten but back then -- it wasn't. The Town Crier continues, 'Tonight the muses sing, we harken to pan as with sweetly piping lute. He wends us through a delightful phantasmagoria with the deathless heroes of legend and history and the entrancing figures of fiction and fantasy. And, first among our illustrious hosts we want you to meet...'. The Town Crier monologue shot is in fact just just a reused opening from the Tashlin cartoon he made earlier - The Woods Are Full of Cuckoos. The voice, and practically the whole synopsis of the monologue is the same. I guess it was cut from the short for that reason though I don't really know why. I have to say that the animation of the Town Crier there is very beautifully animated with such subtle hand movements and the delicate use of drawings.

There is a PAN through the background where we find that we pan through the bookshelves. That is an example of how Tashlin has calculated the camera pan with these background angles and from the very beginning with the cuckoo to the monsters dancing is in fact one continuous shot that lasts longer than a minute. We then discover some books that then step out (the books appear to have door lifts where the villains are revealed).

The thick books that are revealed there are 'Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde', 'Fu Man Chu', 'Phantom of the Opera' and 'Frankenstein'. Gee, is the book 'Frankenstein' really THAT thick when its really only roughly 300 pages? and 'Phantom of the Opera' was only about 200 pages. The first villain to step out of the book cover is Mr. Hyde from the first book. The second villain to step out of the case is Fu Manchu, then followed by the Phantom and then Frankenstein. They then look at the audience as they roar at them trying to frighten the audience. After their loud lion roars - they then pause and start to then change the mood and atmosphere by dancing to the tune of 'Gavotte' and they then dance like softies. Dr. Fumanchu and the Opera then start to hold each others dance performing a type of circular dance. It then follows up where the villains pair up with one another and they clap each others hands. Their own finale then finishes their dance. I imagine that this sequence was really aimed to amuse the audience to make the villains feel silly when they are really supposed to be frightening.

The book characters that are popping out of the books are the audience as they applaud at the performance made by the villains. Mmm, applauding from characters during gag performances are just far too common for the 1930s. We then continue to pan and we find a called called 'The Good Earth'. Of course - it was a book based on Oriental people - but the book cover itself is a parody. The Asian boy has a globe on his head representing the Earth and he's even praying in bed - which I guess is meant to represent as 'good'.

He then prays in a very quiet oriental voice: 'Now I may lay down to sleep...(the rest is just some mumbling)...bless Papa Leon and Uncle Ray'. That would've got a laugh at the studio watching the cartoon since its referring the executives Leon Schlesinger and Ray Katz. Of course - nobody in the theatres would've thought it was a joke since not many people really may attention to the credits. Then we find more dancing from other books but this is a short tap dancing sequence. The book called 'The Invisible Man' by H.G. Wells (features an invisible person (only shoes, hat and gloves are seen) then tap dances. A book then features another invisible character in a book called 'Topper' by Thorne Smith then tap dances. My guess is that the gag is supposed to mean that it is a pun on the book title and is supposed to top the Invisible Man with his dancing abilities. More tap dancing then features this Negro character who is dancing up and down the stairs inside the book called 'The 39 Steps' a book written by John Buchan. According to Phil Monroe in his interview, he recalls animating a scene of a 'character walking up and down the stairs' in this Tashlin cartoon and he must mean that particular scene. We PAN back down where we find a book called 'So Big' and it features Greta Garbo at the front cover with her giant feet as she sweeps her feet to the rhythm. It is rather amusing when its caricaturing her feet size. The music played in the background to the rhythm is called 'Vienni, vienni'.

We then PAN upwards to the music where we find the book 'Green Pastures' by Marc Connelly as it features a black angel with a halo on top then scats to the music. After the scatting to the music - then we find a reused sequence with reused animation from the Censored 11 cartoon Clean Pastures. We find Cab Calloway singing 'Swing for Sale' as he sings 'If your rhythm's been to dreamy!' - the other backup angels then repeat what he sings. 'And you like your trumpet scream'. The angels then repeat what he sings. 'That's when you should call to see me cause I've got swing for sale'.

The pages then continue to turn as we find these black lady dancers shake it. That reused animation of the dancers has been re-used quite a lot in the 1930s and its one of the more notorious ones. The singing continues, 'If you think the Waltz is horrid - and you like your rhythm torrid. 'Till it makes you mop your forehead, I've got Swing for Sale'. The page then turns over again as we find a black angel vocal group who then sing a blues voice. 'Rhythm's what this country needs - for years and years I've said it. If you buy from me, it's C.O.D. I sell swing but not credit'. The pages then start to close in which we feature the black small angel at the front cover of the book scatting the last part of the song. Well - I imagine that this sequence was added into there to add some more footage time - I suppose.

The book characters then applaud at the song from the reused animation and I guess the tap dancing as well. We then continue to pan through the scene where the book characters still applaud and then more 1930s entertainment drives in. We pan to the book 'Heidi' which is a Swiss book written by Johanna Spyri. The orphan girl is at the front cover of the group and then starts to perform a typical 'Hi-de-hi' performance which was very popular during the 1930s. It is even slightly amusing since its just a pun from the book title itself and yet the story guys make a joke of it.

The next sequence is also some slightly reused animation - but only some of it was reused from Speaking of the Weather. He then find the William Powell caricature from the film 'The Thin Man' (also a book) as he steps out of his own book. As he turns around to walk along - he is indeed very thin. He then turns around as he is walking over to a cook book. The music that is played in the background is Boulevardier from the Bronx. He steps out of the book a moment later and as he steps out - he turns around from our view shot and he has certainly gained a few pounds as he was eating inside the cook book. Yeah it was slightly amusing although I must ask - why does William Powell there look like a bug afterwards - it really looks weird as his rear end is just so huge and horribly shaped and he even looks like a beetle.

After the William Powell sequence - then some contemporary songs then start to kick in. The book 'Great Works of Art' is supposedly a book of art collection with the 'Whistler's Mother' painting at the front. The Whistler's Mother is at the front as she whistles merrily in tune to the song 'Old King Cole' as it is starting off. The Whistler's Mother part amuses me slightly.

After the PAN we then find the book 'Little Women' written by Louisa May Alcott. We see these three ladies (caricatured as little women - which is the gag of why they look childlike). They then go into song as they sing the 'Old King Cole' song. 'When I was a tot (tapping their feet) - I thought quite a lot. Of the famous people in the storybooks I got'. The other book (also written by May Alcott) is called 'Little Men' which is supposedly a sequel to 'Little Women'. The little men are also caricatured as being little. They sing; 'As I grew in size - so did I grow wise. And I've learnt some things that really opened up my eyes'. Then it is back to the girls who sing their line, 'But in spite of everything I learned - there's one old guy who's still aced high as far as I'm concerned'. I like how they move their bodies sideways as its pretty good timing. May I ask - why do the girl's shoes look like pig's trotters? (Funny story: one time my mum thought out-of-nowhere that the book 'Little Women' was written by Sidney Sheldon).

After the chorus by the Louisa May Alcott characters - we then move to the nursery rhyme character Old King Cole. He is designed as very huge and also very merry. He sings in his broad voice 'Old King Cole - I'm a merry old soul'. The voice is very suitable for the singing king and its pretty appealing.

Then there is a book which is featured called The House of Seven Gables which is a Gothic book by Nathaniel Hawthorne. It features seven windows and each window then has Clark Gable coming out as each Gable head sings a word of the line, 'But the old boy loves to have his fling'. Of course the joke is very obvious since the book title mentions 'Gable' and a story guy who seemed to be an average gag man must've came up with that.  Then we cut to the scene where the bulldog is drumming in the book title called Bulldog Drummin'. The book title is a clever parody of the character Bulldog Drummond a character created by Herman Cyril McNeille. That animation of the bulldog is somehow very appealing to me - I love how the drumsticks smear and that the dog just gets into the rhythm of it.

We then cut back to Old King Cole as he sings 'Old King Cole - I'm a merry old soul'. The off-screen chorus then sings 'and he waved his spectre with a swing' and Old King Cole then waves his spectre just as the chorus sings it. Then we cut back to the drumming bulldog. The next scene is a different verse as its a biographical book called The Life of Louis Pasteur and Louis Pasteur was a French scientist who was notable for his discovery of germs and developing a vaccine for rabies. We find that Louis Pasteur is in fact experimenting with potions in his laboratory. The off-screen chorus then sing 'Now here is a man who never fooled around - but daily he mixes TNT'. Pasteur then grabs out the potion in his hand that sizzles and the TNT inside explodes. The book title then changes to 'Seventh Heaven. There is a really high funny voice that is sung that sings 'but now he's in yonder with a ring around'. He is already in an angel outfit but still messing around with his potions.

We then start to make a cut to Captain Bline who is inside the 'Mutiny on the Bounty' book. He walks around speaking, 'They called for Mr. Christian and went on a mutiny'. Okay, but even I don't get the joke - I know its a 'Mutiny' reference but it just feels so dated.

Meanwhile - we find that Rip Van Winkle (a book character by Washington Irving) is a sleep. He is disturbed by the noise from the music as he then grabs out a pair of scissors complaining, 'Old King Cole is a noisy old soul'. That is a funny rhyming line there as he just moans. He grabs the scissors and then he reaches over to Uncle Tom's hair (in the book next to him 'Uncle Tom's Cabin'). He cuts a piece of his white hair in which he then places it inside his ears pretending that they are cotton and uses them to cover his ears. That even feels so wrong in today's standards but yet that little subtle gag is just really funny. The bulldog drums once more. Then we are back to the May Alcott characters who sing with some action in their arms, 'because we had his fling and because he liked to swing'. The Old King Cole character then stretches his head closer to the camera in perspective singing 'I went down in history'. Then the Clark Gable heads pop out of the 'Seven Houses of Gables' book as they sing 'So perhaps there's a chance for me' as they then step out together singing the last word. I admit that I really enjoyed this sequence to tell you the truth. I find the songs and music in this sequence to be very catchy and I like it. I didn't really think much of his carton at the beginning but watching the middle of it really got me going.

After the audience then cheer - there are some guards standing outside a castle book as they hold onto their trumpets and their trumpets stretch in perspective - which is an interesting Tashlin technique. The 3 Musketeers then are standing outside their book as they sing the popular song (and title song of the cartoon) Have You Got Any Castles, Baby? An Indian drummer of the book 'Drums Along the Mohawk' then drums in rhythm.

Then there is a little gag which is features a mannered woman (in the 'etiquette' book written by Emily Post but is called Emily Host for some reason). He find in the other book about Henry the 8th where he is chewing the foods without any manners. The woman is singing, 'Fudge it like a good man and you should shallow my book, Henry!' That is rather amusing as the book is trying to teach Henry VIII some manners. We then find another part where there is a snake charmer playing some snake charming music with these snakes charming inside the book Mother India which was a  very controversial book written by Katherine Mayo. Rip Van Winkle is annoyed once more with the music as he grabs out his scissors, 'I'll get out my scissors that cut'. As he is about to cut off Uncle Tom's cotton hair again - Uncle Tom beats him up and then takes the scissors to cut Rip Van Winkle's beard. Then there is a book that called 'Diamond Jim' and Diamond Jim is at the front cover as he sings 'Have you got any mortgages you want to have paid, baby?' which would be a reference to his greediness for money.

The Indian drummer then drums again but this type we find the mannered woman and Henry VIII both eating very sloppily on the food which is slightly amusing since the woman has lost her manners. Then out of nowhere - the 'Oliver Twist' book by Charles Dickens appears in which there appears to be a woman twisting her legs - while it is clever - but why is Oliver Twist shown as a woman?

Then we find a book called 'So Red the Nose' and it features a W.C. Fields caricature at the front with a red nose as he sings a verse, 'After all my adventures are true' which was impersonated by Ted Pierce. Then the Pied Piper goes into rhythm in his book as the mice then follow him. The 3 Musketeers then finish the last part of the song as they sing 'I love you'. The audience then applaud. The 3 Musketeers then step out of their own book cover as they then enter the book cover of the book called 'Three Men on a Horse' and they step out already riding a horse. That is a slightly amusing visual gags when comparing visual books. Frank Tashlin was already interested in making these type of cartoons with books-coming-to life - especially in this period. They ride past in which they take the keys off the book that was from the front cover of 'Seven Keys of Baldpate'. They then ride over to the book 'Prison of Zelda' as there is a slight story going between book covers after about 5 minutes of no plot but just musicals.

We then find that Aladdin shouts, 'Help! Jailbreak, help!' as he is snitching on those rescuing a prisoner. One of the musketeers then starts to snitch on Aladdin as they punch him and give him a glass eye. The Musketeers then start to ride away but go past a good called 'The Informer'. An informer then steps out of the book who is ready to give out information which makes the gags and twists very interesting. He steps out to whistle to Little Boy Blue (but the book is called 'Little Boy Blew') in which he then blows his trumpet loudly.

Then there are then a group of armies and the Calvery from all different type of books then start to fire at the Three Musketeers who are escaping but firing back with their pistols. Cannons are being fired towards them as there is a war going on with the books. Then some beaus of the legion start to step out hollering but it sounds like in the background I'm listening to the sounds of Daffy Duck's whooping sounds. The chase then continues on with the musketeers running away from the book characters. The only character who is bothered about it is Rip Van Winkle as he complains - Why don't they let me sleep? He then starts to open up a book called 'Hurricane' but as he opens it a hurricane is released which would blow away those fighting. Afterwards - they are then blown away but they are trapped inside the book - Gone with the Wind which was a funny way to present it since the book was a hit when it was released.

In the viewed version I am watching - there appears to be this strange cut where there are these white lines crossing together (probably because its lost footage added into the Blue Ribbon version). We then pan as the cartoon and the show is about to end as we return to the Alexander Woolcott Town Crier. He then announces the departing, 'This is your Town Crier again. The music fades and the departing celebrants - bid us adieu - (which is French for 'goodbye'), happy with the memories of the book land frolic. All is well. All is well'. There is a slow pan as the Town Crier is ringing his bell a goodbye to the audience. We see his silhouetted shadow again as we then PAN to the cuckoo clock. The cuckoo steps out with a cuckoo and it turns out that his beak is tied up but it still cuckoos. We truck back a bit to find that Rip Van Winkle is sleeping beside it as he has finally found some peace. That is a little amusing way to end the cartoon as it has finally reached its own conclusion.

Overall comments: This cartoon shows that Frank Tashlin was definitely influenced by the Harman-Ising or older cartoons in this era where these were typical coming-to-life cartoons singing popular songs. Frank Tashlin has at least made quite a couple of these coming-to-life cartoons - particularly in this cartoon as well as Speaking of the Weather and You're an Education and didn't do any more afterwards. This cartoon is really nothing too special in my opinion. Its just one of them singing and dancing cartoons that has appeared to have revived in the Warner Bros' cartoon output. Although this was what Frank Tashlin wanted to make back then - and I believe he was making these cartoons to himself when he talked about being influenced by Harman-Ising. Bob Clampett (eight years later) would later make a cartoon called 'Book Revue' where he really makes a more energetic version of the books coming to life featuring Daffy Duck.

The animation in this cartoon was particularly nice but it did show some reuse animation from older cartoons (but mostly in the Clean Pastures sequence) and there are even recycled ideas that are used like the opening and closing scenes with the Town Crier as it was a reused parody from 'The Woods Are Full of Cuckoos'. I admit I liked the middle section of the cartoon where we hear the popular songs and I find then catchy and even fun to watch. As much as these popular songs in cartoons bore me to death - the songs in the cartoon don't. Although I admit the ending sequences with the chase sequences were a bit rushed and was performed rather lame.

Friday 21 September 2012

205. Porky's Party (1938)

Warner cartoon no. 204.
Release date: June 25, 1938.
Series: Looney Tunes.
Supervision: Bob Clampett.
Producer: Leon Schlesinger.
Starring: Mel Blanc (Porky Pig / Black Fury / Penguin).
Animation: Chuck Jones and Norm McCabe.
Musical Score: Carl W. Stalling.
Sound: Treg Brown (uncredited).
Synopsis: Fun and craziness go on at Porky's birthday; his dog gets drunk and a sewing silkworm that causes trouble for a penguin.

This is the last cartoon that Chuck Jones got screen credit on as an animator. However, I believe that his character layouts were still continuing on for a little bit after his credit but went into direction straight afterwards - but I'm not sure if this cartoon was his last as an animator or not considering that he has been credited on every cartoon beginning with 'Porky's Badtime Story'.

The cartoon begins as we find that there is a birthday cake laid out on the table. Porky's hand then arrives at the scene in which he then starts to light some candles on the cake with a match. He is singing to himself 'Happy Birthday' as it is Porky's birthday today. He sings while stuttering, 'Happy birthday to me...' - after he lights the candles - his dog who is sitting opposite towards him then starts to take a sneaky lick of the ice-cream off his plate and then on top of his mouth - rather cute and charming.

The doorbell then rings in which Porky jumps off the chair from organising his party as he then goes over to answer the door. Porky runs over to the door - the knocking goes into the rhythm of Shave and a Haircut which is a typical way of knocking a door - and these days its just so common for anybody to that. As Porky opens the door - the postman's fist then knocks on Porky's head to the last two beats of the rhythm. The postman then starts to comment as he has a package for Porky Pig. He appears to have a large voice and lisp that almost blows Porky away - "Package postpaid for Porky Pig". Porky Pig is then tossed a package towards him until the postman then slams the door. After the postman closes the door - Porky then opens up the letter to see who it is from and Porky's dog walks over to look as well.

It is a letter from Porky's uncle who appears to be residing in Hong Kong. The letter reads:

Dear Porky, Happy Birthday! I'm sending you a genuine oriental silk worm as a present. Lovingly yours, Uncle Pincus Pig P.S. When you want him to do his stuff just say - "Sew!" There is an interesting camera effect where it's meant to be a POV shot of Porky's eyelids closing lower on the P.S. message.

After reading the letter and the P.S. message - Porky tosses the letter in which he then opens up the package that he was given for his birthday. Porky then finishes unwrapping the package in which he opens up the box to see what his silkworm looks like. The dog then walks over to see what Porky has got in his hand. It turns out that what Porky has got in his hand is a small silk-worm in which it has an oriental look to it which makes it a rather amusing concept even though it may be a little bit politically incorrect today. The silkworm is sitting on top of his hand in which he is holding onto sewing sticks. Porky then asks the silkworm to demonstrate on what he can do. The silkworm then starts off by sewing a sock - in which it amazes Porky from there and at least its cool to have a silk worm

The music that is heard in the background of the silkworm sewing is called Gavotte which really works well as a portion for the scenes featuring the silkworm. Things then start to get slightly naughty when Porky then discovers the silk worm then starts to sew a bra on Porky's hands. Oooh - that naughty Clampett. Porky then hides the bra behind his back rather embarrassed but that was a very funny gag. After Porky then removes the bra away from him he then asks his dog, 'We gotta hurry and get ready, Black Fury, the others will be here any (trying to pronounce 'minute' whilst stuttering) anytime now for my birthday supper'.

Porky and his dog then scamper away from the door in which they then run to the bathroom. Porky jumps up on one of the stools in the bathroom. Porky then places some hair-growth on top of his bald head in which he uses a brush to sweep his bald head before leaving the scene. Some nice musical cliches by Stalling on where Porky pours some hair-growth on top of his head. Afterwards the dog then climbs on top of the bathroom stool and then a whole Chuck Jones animated sequence begins...(Hmm, little did I realise earlier on that it is Chuck Jones' 100th birthday today) and at least I will be talking a little bit about Jones in this sequence.

This amazing Chuck Jones sequence begins as the dog; Black Fury; then steps on top of the bathroom stool and then starts to drop some hair-growth on top of his head. His head is then covered in hair-raising liquid and the effect and the animation of that is rather oozy and appealing. The dog then looks at the bottle of the hair-growth and it reads that 99% of it contains alcohol. Out of curiosity - the dog then starts to take a sip of the bottle into his mouth and we all know what the consequences are going to be - intoxication.

There is some really nice character animation of the dog going through poses before hiccuping but then hiccups. The dog then takes a swig of the bottle before hiccuping again. The dog then starts to go into hiccups and look at how fluid the animation is when he moves with intoxication. The dog then starts to move closer to the camera in perspective as he looks rather dazed as he shouts "Happy birthday!" before he starts to throw hair-growth all over himself. Chuck Jones has really been an excellent draftsman all of his life and he was even a very good animator before be became a director. His style of drawing has even continued to change rapidly over the years; where in the 1930s whilst working for Clampett he had his own drawing style and in the first six Chuck Jones cartoons - the style is evident from the character layouts. He then appeared to have a rougher style through the 1940s with these oval looking eyelids but then he started to show some more solid drawing and even his most evident style into the 1950s and to his death.

Porky Pig is already standing by the table as he has finished preparing for the party. He then hears the sounds of guests in which he has guests at the door. The knocking (again) is the sound of 'Shave and a Haircut' in which Porky then walks over to the door to answer it but the knocking to the last part of the rhythm returns as it hits Porky on the head. Porky then receives his first guest to enter the house in which it is a penguin - he dashes in with a present for Porky as he shouts 'Happy birthday Porky'.

The penguin then arrives at the scene where he already starts to help himself by scoffing the ice-cream on the plate. Rather unpolite of the penguin guest to just barge in and just eat all of the ice-cream - the penguin then notices a large chocolate birthday cake which he is now about to scoff. He then starts to cut a piece of cake to himself in which he then removes the huge remaining part of the cake off the plate (with just one piece left) and off-screen the penguin just eats the cake greedily to himself. The next guest then starts to knock on the door and Porky answers the knocking on the door for the 2nd guest. It turns out that his 2nd birthday guest is his friend Goosey (so no Gabby Goat anymore, eh ;D). Goosey then enters the scene as he shakes hands to Porky. After greeting Goosey - it turns out that the 'hand' was a trick hand that extended with a sign reading Happy Birthday fat boy! That is a very funny insult to Porky as he certainly got owned.

Goosey then starts to stand on top of the chair and then seats himself down as the party feast is already starting. Porky Pig breaks the forth wall to the audience stating that Goosey is a very silly character. Whilst he is stuttering about how silly he is - we see that the sewing silkworm inside Porky's jacket is sewing in the theme of Gavotte. We find that coming out of Porky's jacket is a sock, then a girl's blouse followed by a bra as this is very typical Clampett humour. More bras and socks then follow as Porky then picks up the silk worm and tosses him out of the scene as it is becoming a nuisance to Porky.

The silkworm is very funny through this cartoon and its already becoming the highlight of the cartoon and even the highlight of Clampett's own humour as he has the excuse to use that specific type of humour. Meanwhile the penguin is enjoying his feast of some ice-cream on the party table. The silk worm then lands into the plate full of ice-cream. The penguin is still munching away on the ice-cream with spoonfuls in which the silk worm then starts to sew away inside the ice-cream. The silk-worm then steps out of the scene where we find that he is sewing (and in the theme of 'Gavotte' as well) and its also become a very funny and distinctive theme for the silkworm - just like the music to 'Figal's Cave' for the mynah bird character in the Inki series.

As the penguin continues to scoff away on the ice-cream - the silkworm is therefore sewing inside the ice-cream. As the penguin grabs a spoonful of ice-cream - it turns out that a sock is coming from the scoop that he is taking. The penguin then makes a surprised take that he has discovered a sock inside his bowl of ice-cream. Disgustedly; he then starts to take the sock out of the ice-cream and tosses it away. The facial expression on that penguin's face is rather amusing.

The penguin then starts to pull out another item from the ice-cream from out of his mouth. It looks really flat from the view that we are seeing it from but then suddenly it starts to 'plop' and it forms into a top hat. Okay, but how the hell can you sew a top hat? Anyway, the timing of the top-hat plopping upwards is just perfect timing. The penguin then starts to toss the top-hat away trying not to take any notice of it and also features that unsure look on his face as to how it got there. The penguin then starts to form another ice-cream scoop inside his mouth in which suddenly - he realises that he had gobbled something inside his mouth. It turns out that the silkworm has already sewn on another top hat inside and then his head starts to change shape as the top-hat then starts to plop upwards and the shape is inside his head. The timing is very hilarious and even the gag of it - although still, how can it be sewn? I see this sequence as some type of Disney influence in which you see a character struggling with an object and has to think real hard to solve the problem but still failing - it happens a lot in Pluto cartoons, or Donald Ducks, too.

The penguin then attempts to keep his own head in his own normal shape by pushing his head down. After pushing it down, his head then starts to plop back into a top-hat shaped head again. The penguin grabs a bib to tie it around his head but suddenly - the top-hat then forms another shape inside the penguin (at a different angle) and there is some very funny animation there. I don't know if it was Jones or an animator following his character layouts.

The penguin then jumps out of the chair just screaming in rage of the problem that he is facing with the hat caught inside him. Goosey then arrives at the spot to see what has happened. Goosey makes his attempt to try and solve the penguin's problem by picking up Goosey, holding onto him and then charging him to a wall to see if the problem is solved. No problem solved and only the top hat gets flattened slightly. The penguin believes that the problem is solved - the top hat plops back again shooting Goosey and the penguin out of the way like a catapult which is perfect comic timing. After another attempt, the penguin's head then appears to be of normal shape again. The penguin uses his hands to check if his head is back to his usual head size. The penguin realises that it is finished and he shakes Goosey's hand for his help in 'removing' the hat. After that 'situation' is finished; they walk back to the dining table but then again...the penguin faces a problem with the damned hat again. The top hat plops back again once more. The penguin complains in his funny squeaky voice. Goosey hammers the penguin to try and stop the top-hat from popping up again. After that - it has vanished from the head but this time the top hat plops back up but it is exposed around his rear end. After a couple of attempts with the hammer - Goosey just attempts on hammering him but this time grabs out a bucket to trap the penguin from bouncing. After a sudden reaction - Goosey opens the bucket but finds a hole on the ground that reveals that he has bounced up so violently that he hits the floors below - how hilarious with that - and even without a story man but gags contributed by Clampett and his team.

After that sequence with Goosey and the penguin (which went on for longer than a minute) we then return to the drunken dog who still has the hare-growth bottle. After a while of being drunk - his hair has completely grown and he is completely hairy and scruffy as he looks a real mess. The dog then continues to howl but also hiccup at the same time. The character animation is also done by Jones there and you can see that it is very solid. His animation for Clampett back then was much more slower but also very beautiful; and very realistic and fluid. His animation was really special and I think he's underrated for that.

The dog then starts to look at himself in the mirror - he starts to make a double take as he is frightened at the state of him. Some nice loose movement where the dog is rubbing his cheek with his fingers. The dog then grabs some shaving foam and then starts to spread himself with shaving foam all over. It looks like as though he has rabies. The dog's paw then starts to grab for the electric shaver as he turns it on. The electric shaver is turned on and the dog moves his head closer towards the electric shaver that starts moving. The dog then gets attacked from the electric razor which causes the dog to run away from the bathroom and then yelp in agony.

Meanwhile Porky is sitting down on his chair having some dessert for his birthday party. The dog then runs at the scene to cling onto Porky. Porky Pig then turns his head around to look at who is clinging onto him. Porky has not fully registered on who is holding onto him so he turns his head back slowly. After just realising, Porky Pig then starts to make a big take in which he cries out 'Mad dog! Mad dog!' of course - meaning that he has rabies which is just shaving foam.

The other guests: Goosey and the penguin then turn around to look at the state of the dog and they also believe that he is a mad dog too. The penguin dashes at the scene - in which he runs back at the spot to pick up his piece of cake, too as he doesn't want it to get 'infected' too. The dog is just staring at it not having a clue as to what is happening. Porky and Goosey then run to try and run away from their dog. The penguin arrives inside a different room as he then replaces the hatstand and he places himself disguising himself as a hatstand. Porky and Goosey then arrive at the spot as Porky is still shouting 'Mad dog! Mad dog!' so the penguin then rushes out not pretending to be a hatstand anymore. Porky and his guests then start to stack the doors with boxes to block his dog from entering. Porky and Goosey quickly dash inside a closet door but they slam it before the penguin guest can even make it.

The penguin then starts to bang inside the door to try and let himself open. Porky and Goosey are inside the closet door as they believe that they are secured. What they don't know is that their dog is standing right behind them and it makes the whole climax amusing. Porky then lights his match so he can signal some light inside the closet - he finds that his 'mad dog' is inside as they make a small take before leaving the closet.

The penguin still then bangs on the door in which then Porky and Goosey crash through the door flattening the penguin. The dog then chases them following that. There is a push-up bed that is hanging in the doorway where the dog lands on. The penguin then arrives at the spot to hide under the covers and not knowing that Porky's dog is hiding under there as well. The penguin then starts to raise his head out of the covers slowly and so does the dog, too. The dog and the penguin then turn to face each other but the penguin makes a scared take sound that he scrambles out of the bed. The bed then then starts to close in which it is back inside the wall. Porky and Goosey then realise that they are in trouble as they believe their hiding spot is useless and they run off. The penguin tries to escape but is caught by a spring on the bed so he is shot straight back and we hear some off-screen fighting.

As the fighting continues - the beds then start to close and open a couple of times. The penguin tries to make an escape but the dog's hand then arrives at the spot to grab the penguin back. The fold over bed then finally closes as the dog is suddenly sober and back to normal. Porky and Goosey then discover that it was nothing to worry about after all. 'Aww it was just old Black Fury after all'. After the penguin got beaten up - he then begins to retaliate towards the dog threatening to fight him, 'So...' - but at the spot the silkworm returns at the end of this cartoon to sort out the penguin. There is some sewing going on inside the penguin's bill and it all becomes madness. The penguin goes into a rage as the sewing and the clothes growing continues - and we find that the penguin then gets tied up like a mummy. Goosey whacks him with a mallet on the spot as the cartoon ends.

Overall comments: I have to say that with the humour and the gags that Clampett was developing - Clampett was definitely at his streak there and 1938 was a very good year for him. With those reasons, his cartoons were just full of energy, gag ideas and even appealing stories. He had Chuck Jones animating for him who really knew how to give what Clampett wanted back then with timing and solid drawings. The gags in this cartoon were just hilarious and I just love the silk worm who I believe was the reason of satire through this cartoon. He arrived at appropriate times where he even embarrasses the character that gives Porky a bashful side of his personality - which he often is. The animation here is very appealing - even with the dog and also the sequences with Goosey and the penguin. Goosey had a goofy look in these early Clampett designs and it reminds me of the designs that Clampett used when he made very early Daffy Duck cartoons around around 1938 up to 1940.

The timing there was very top-notch as it was just perfect the right use of timing of where it would make the situations/gags even funnier. Bob Clampett was already full of ideas even in his earlier cartoons but its unfortunate that even after 1938 that he would later meet a decline with the quality of his cartoons. This was also Norm McCabe's first animation credit in over a year since he first started off working for Frank Tashlin. I don't know when he left the Tashlin unit or even arrived at the McCabe unit. It's quite interesting that Clampett uses one-shot characters for this cartoon as being party guests. He could have used maybe a very early Daffy Duck which would worked as a replacement for Goosie - but hey; he uses Daffy Duck in the next cartoon he directs. 

Monday 3 September 2012

College Begins...Vital Message to Readers

I should alarm you again that I will once again be away. I'm starting college today and I arrive in the evening. I plan to be there for about two years or so. When I go to college; this does mean that I will be away again because I will be boarding at that college. I will get the chance to do A levels at some subjects and I'm hoping to take History, Media Studies and ICT. Of course, as I've done this before - you may think I will be back on some weekends. To tell you the truth - only some weekends. The blog isn't gone forever and it certainly won't be but I will just update it less.

If you are a member of my Facebook group: simply called Likely Looney, Mostly Merrie - then you will be able to find out about my updates as each post I post it to the group so followers or readers will be notified. Of course; it is a little bit annoying because I enjoy the comments I receive from you but then again I think after that summer of doing a lot of reviews - I should get a well-deserved break. Academics come first; I've already completed school, but I'm moving onto college where the hard work will be coming back again so I will be studying. Also to let you know; because we have to stay weekends and do Saturday morning lessons: to make up for it we do get longer holidays like a month off Christmas and Easter, and two months for the Summer so don't be too alarmed. Enjoy looking at the rest of my stuff on his blog while I'm absent and my first Exeat is on September 21st-23rd (its every three weeks I get a Exeat - and you should see a review up on that date. I do get my own free laptop but I think the internet access could be strict and I don't want to be distracted with blogging.

In the meantime - enjoy watching some cartoons for me. Enjoy this screen grab from Operation: Rabbit  a really funny Wile E. cartoon with Bugs.

One day I hope I might end up being a genius like Wile E. - without the satire. Enjoy. Ta-ta for now.

Sunday 2 September 2012

204. Katnip Kollege (1938)

Warner cartoon no. 203.
Release date: June 11, 1938.
Series: Merrie Melodies.
Supervision: Cal Howard and Cal Dalton.
Producer: Leon Schlesinger.
Starring: Johnnie Davis (Johnny Cat), Mabel Todd (Kitty Bright), George MacFarland, Mel Blanc (Cuckoo) and Poley McClintock (vocal groups).
Story: Dave Monahan.
Animation: Joe D'Igalo.
Musical Direction: Carl W. Stalling.
Sound: Treg Brown (uncredited).
Synopsis: Cats at Katnip Kollege learn to swing - but Johnnie doesn't get the hand of it.

This is the first cartoon where story man Dave Monahan gets story credit. Monahan - who made a couple of funny cartoons in that era. Around the time the cartoon was released, Monahan was only 20 years old (born March 1918) but when working on this cartoon - he was only 19! Keith Scott told to me that there is a theory the cast chosen for this cartoon were performers from a WB musical feature starring Fred Waring and his troupe Varsity Show. Both Johnnie Davis and Mabel Todd were in the film, as well as MacFarland and McClintock. Another interesting story is that Johnnie Davis was in another picture Over the Wall where he sings As Easy as Rolling Off a Log which is sung by him in this cartoon which makes sense to cast him.

The original title exists in Jerry Beck's Original Titles page although the image is very small but I'm afraid that's the largest I'll enlarge this image because it gets rather pixilated when I enlarge it.

The cartoon then starts of as we find the campus as it is built from a barrel; and the columns at the front are made from old tins. A rather odd-looking campus for cats to be residing in. A small box that is standing next door to it is in fact the college's gymnasium but its all made from litter. The cats then start to enter the college after stepping out of their motorcar. If those objects are really small - are those cats really as tall as mice as it looks like it's being shown here? After they sep out of the car; the last cat to look at the fate of the car as we hear the sound of it crashing off-screen. He covers his ears before entering inside.

Inside the college - we find that there is a picture frame of the professor. We then start to PAN through the doors in which it names all various types of objects but that end with the word "-ology". The doors that we pan through identify each class that is going on. The doors that go past read the manes of the classes like physiology, sociology, biology, swingology, zoology -- swingology??? Mmm, looks like another new idea for a subject. Comparing the design of 'Katnip Kollege' from outside in the background - it looks very small but yet inside the hallway they have a lot of rooms - so there must have been a mistake measuring this. As we pan to the Swingology door - the door then starts to beat in rhythm in which it starts moving because of the music going on inside. The door movement is a pretty cool way to be displayed by Cal Dalton/Howard since it shows that the other doors would have other folks studying and not a word would be sound - which would sound boring. The fact that there is a lot of noise going on in the classroom is because of the excitement that is expressing and we know the class is the most interesting in the college - and it eaters the audience to watch.

Inside the classroom we then find a class full of cat students that are clapping in rhythm to the swing that is heard in the background. The only student in that class who isn't getting the hang of it is Johnny who is standing in the middle of the classroom is the only person not getting the hand of joining in the beat as he is standing up not having a clue. I do like that cat who has his tongue sticking out as it makes him kinda dopey and even another cat that wears a beanie hat and has a golden tooth.

As the cats continue to clap at the beginning of their class; we find that the professor is making his way to the classroom. The desk appears to be ascending to the top of the classroom as there appears to be some sort of extending machine at the top in which the professor makes this dance routine with his head that is called "pecking". Notice in the chalkboard behind him there are some swing notes that are written down like "La De Ah" in which there is a rather interesting doodle of the professor. As soon as he arrives at the top - the trumpet playing heard in the background then ends as he hear 'Shave and a Haircut' in the background but then the professor taps the bell at the last two notes. The class then go into song as they greet him good morning;   Good morning to you, dear teacher. They then scat in which the professor also dances - and even the chalkboard doodle dances in rhythm which is pretty cool. They continue in song Good morning to you / We really mean it. Good morning to you / don't mean your sister. A cuckoo then steps out of the cuckoo also going into swing singing a line I mean you're really in the groove before a book then whacks the cuckoo which was a funny scene. It is probably the only line that Mel Blanc records in this cartoon.

The professor then starts to begin his lesson - he is waving his own stick as he then starts to call for one of students to see if they have done their homework - as they are singing a History session - singing it in swing. "Okay, Mr. Jones, you may recite your History for today". Mr. Jones the cat (sung by George MacFarland) then steps up as he goes into song: Oh, Columbus was the discoverer of America / And he sailed the seas in 1492. There is a rather amusing shot of some of the students pretending to be sailors rowing oars but a cat is on the lookout at sea but still "pecking".

The song then continues as he focus on a scene where there is a bully seated behind a student swinging to the sing. The song continues: But the good Queen Isabella / found a more attractive fella. After reciting that bit of history; the bully cat then starts to pick up a trash bin and stuffs it inside the student's head. He then sings the last part but it is Poley McClintock who sings the last part in a froggy voice - and Columbus wound up in the jugeroo. The voice is pretty funny from the way I hear it. The professor then starts to play percussion using a fountain pen and a ruler as drumsticks and he bangs on items that have silver substances on it like the lid of a trash bin, funnel, sieve, etc. After he bangs on the drums he comments - 'That's a killer, son. That's a killer'. He then moves to the next student to recite the History lesson. "Come now, Miss Kitty Bright, let's see if you did your homework right". The voice of the professor is pretty unknown but admittedly - I'm not very fond of the voice actor for the professor as it sounds very unprofessional and sometimes it's hard to even hear what is coming out from him. The dialect doesn't sound very much like voice acting other than someone in the recording booth mumbling.

The professor then starts to begin the beat in which he starts to play on the drums before Kitty Bright who looks like a typical college girl with a yellow jersey with the letter 'K' and also beanie hat. She then begins her History recital as she also dances: Oh Napoleon was the fighting-est man you ever saw / Everybody that he fought with he subdued. But the King-a and the Queen-a / Sent him off to St. Helena. Just because they didn't like his attitude.

As she is singing the last part of her homework (but substitute lyrics to Let That Be a Lesson to You) - the professor is still standing to the music still satisfied. There is a student's arm that arrives at the spot pulling a rotten trick at the professor as he places a pin on his chair in which the Professor then yells in pain. The character animation there is pretty weak with the professor - but so much of it is weak in the cartoon as well. The class then start to join in the rest of the theme to the song Kitty Bright was singing: Let that me a lesson to you / Everybody meets his Waterloo. There is a timid student who appears to be looking rather unconfident of joining into the rhythm in which he puts his hand up to be excused. The professor then looks at his timid features but gives him that look of encouragement in which the kitten then starts to get the hang of it and skiddles around his desk. That would've required some good character animation but the shot of the professor staring at him is pretty weak. The rest of the lyrics sing: He wasn't too big to end up behind the Azores / And remember, buddy, there's still a lot of room for you. I believe that would've been the class trying to get the nervous student to get the hang of it in which he finally joins in and gets the hang of it.

After the song then concludes to Kitty Bright's poem - it turns out that the least confident of the class and even the most incompetent: Johnny. It is his turn to recite some homework from the professor. The professor then asks him: "Now Johnny, let's hear your sonnets and make 'em sound like Kostelanetz". This is referencing to Andre Kostelanetz who was a popular music conductor at the time, and even one of the pioneers to easy listening music. The shock spark effects popping out of Johnny is a nice way to sum up that take. In the background you hear the song You're an Education.

Johnny then steps up in front of the class as he is terribly not confident and has probably not even done his homework - or even succeeded in doing his homework well. He steps out from his seat in which he then starts to try and sing his sonnets but he completely fails. He starts off with him attempting to scat but continues onwards, "Charleston - razzmatazz and a boo-boo-da-boo" which is slyly referencing to Betty Boop. I quite like that character animation there as he goes through sweat and a lot of scared emotions when standing up to his class in which he ends up improvising his sonnets but then a lot of crap comes out of his mouth in his attempt. And NO, that didn't sound like Kostalenetz. The professor is standing at the front of his class tapping his feet and is certainly not impressed at Johnny's effort. He breaks the forth wall asking the audience, "Boy, is that corny?" He then starts to growl at Johnny and shouts "Come up here!" - see, even that shout doesn't sound very convincing and it doesn't even sound like a shout. Johnny then steps in front of the class but the professor growls at him to sit at the corner.

Johnny then starts to go at the corner in which he then starts to sit at a seat. He pushes the button in which the seat then starts to ascend upwards. Afterwards - there is a dunce hat that then places it from a machine on top of Johnny as he is sitting there humiliated by Johnny. There is a slight ink and painting error where the letters are not coloured but in the next frame - it is coloured black.

The professor is very disappointed at Johnny's attempt and results - even disappointed for having him in his class. As this is the climax for Johnny for which he receives that humiliation - the professor then taps his bell and shouts "Class dismiss" because of Johnny's performance. Poor Johnny. The class then end up walking out of the class walking near him ashamed of him. They then comment to each other - which can he heard: "He swing like a rusty gate", "You ain't got rhythm", "Gee, is that awful?", "What form", etc. After they walk out mocking his performance - at least one person in his class shows some sympathy to Johnny. Kitty Bright is walking out of the class and she passes over to Johnny a fraternity ring. "Here's your old frat pin", she adds - "You can look me up when you learn how to swing". She then concludes to Johnny by singing the lyrics Why it's easy - as rolling off a log which is the main song that we hear later called As Easy as Rolling Off a Log. I really am not too sure what the use of a fraternity ring is for when she hands it over to him - I guess maybe it means that if she gave him the frat ring - he'll be able to get back properly once he knows how to swing.

After that sad scene of Johnny's humiliation; we then fade to night fall where there are a couple of cats by a backyard fence about to sing. There is a description as part of the story that reads That Night - in which the moon then starts to bounce up and shines. The cats then start to beat it as they are playing their swing music and are also with their girlfriends.

As they then start to go into song they start off the lyrics with the three cat vocalists with the microphone sing - It was on the college campus that the kitties had a session / All the cats were there / 'Twas a swinging congregation. Some had took to talking' / While the cats had beat out a rhythm. They are standing by a log in a field in which they are with their girlfriends and they enjoy their swing. Then there is another shot with the cats then pecking in which the lyrics sing: And others picked out some pecking / 'Cause the rhythm bug had bit em. More shots of the cats dancing continues with the vocalists in which one of the cats then tap their feet whilst dancing. They never had a lesson in their lives - the lyrics went. In the next  shot - we find the vocal cats again but they are holding the microphone and the shortest guy is just standing their with his back turned back them scowling at them - the expression is amusing enough. The lyrics continue: But rhythm swaped their teasing / But when it comes to swinging their thing / It's as natural to them as sleeping or eating.

There is a background PAN In which the cats are swinging with their own instruments or with their girlfriends pecking. As they continue to PAN through the scene - there is a statue of a professor but the statue is carved as reading "Prof. Dalton - 1908". Of course - the statue of the professor is referencing the director of the cartoon: Cal Dalton. As for the year carved - I wonder if that was the year he was born? I tried finding it on California Death Records but couldn't find results. Funny how one of the students is wrapped around it pecking at it.

The lyrics then continue to sing the rest of the song: There's a rumpus on the campus / They are really in the groove. Each and every paw has a natural urge to move. The thing this horn is known as horn / They wish someone could stop it / They only use the horn when you pop it. As the lyrics were being sung there was a pan through the field as they were just standing outside not far from the headquarters of Katnip Kollege. Inside - Katnip Kollege; we find the same classroom where Johnny is still wearing the dummy and is very isolated. After staying in there for hours - all we can hear is the sound of the clock ticking. Suddenly, Johnny can properly feel some rhythm for the first time ever - by following the sounds of a tick tock. Even those simple sounds produce some rhythm to influence Johnny.

Johnny then starts to realise that he finally has learnt how to swing as he then becomes engaged to pecking, "I got it. I got it. The rhythm bug bit me. La de ah". Johnny then steps out of his own seat and even not wearing the dunce hat. He then starts to put is usual hat on as he is his nerd self but with the rhythm. As the pendulum continues to swing - Johnny then starts to make an exit out of the classroom.

Johnny then makes his exit through the college and even zips through the fields and then reaches to his peers. The timing of him zipping along is pretty reasonable timing of the 1930s. Johnny then skids in which he approaches the log where all his other peers from class are. He finally has the confidence - and Kitty Bright is standing beside him in that log. He steps on top of the log and he begins the song which is the whole finale of this cartoon - and a great finale. He sings his version of As Easy As Rolling Off a Log sung by Johnnie Davis who is singing it again as he sung it before. He begins his lyrics: As easy as rolling off a log / I found it easy, baby - to fall in love with you. All of his other peers are completely surprised as they look at each other with these shock sparks coming out as they have the impression on their face "My goodness, he really knows how to swing!" as though they never would've expected that. Even a couple then step out as they open up the leaves of a tree (presumably making out) as they watch him swing and continue the lyrics (more cats watch): As easy as rolling cigarettes / If that ain't easy, maybe / There's simpler things to do.

Johnny is walking up and down his log in which he starts to show some actions from his arms pretending as though he is hugging - he sings ("For instance let's cuddle. I love to cuddle") - Kitty Bright is looking at him with amazement in which she is awed as she would've never expected that. Even it is very believable to the audience as we feel sympathy for Johnny and glad he got the bang of it.

Even all of the other cats then start to join in to the song hugging their girlfriends as they are impressed with his swinging, too. Johnny's singing continues: Get in a huddle / It's easy with you. As easy as rolling off the log / I'm really tumbled, baby / But what else could I do? It's so easy to fall in love with you). Johnny then picks up Kitty Bright as they both then perform a singing duel together for song in which she sings her part of the song. In my opinion, this is probably the most notorious part of the cartoon. That sequence really brings up a lot of atmosphere and I find it memorable. She sings: I know that it is as easy - as rolling off a log / It's awful easy, baby / You lie the way you do. We then find a close-up of Kitty Bright continuing to engage into the song: It's as easy, baby / as rolling off a log.

The ironic part of the sequence is that whilst singing the song - they are in fact standing on top of a log. She continues her singing: It's awful easy, baby - to make me think if... At that point she then is about to fall off the log repeatedly singing "You make me" three times because of her about to slip before she then stays back on. She continues to sing: think that it's you. 'Cos I've heard a few say the things that you say.

The song appears to be engaging with singing but also flirting at the same time as Kitty Bright believes that Johnny is just one of the guys that are trying to fall in love with her. Johnny sings to it; But if I do say "I love you" I do / So help me its true. Kitty Bright thens starts to sing her part: This love stuff has got me in a fog / The boys all say they love me / I wonder why they do. There is then a fog effect that appears by her which is as decent effect that is shown her as well as a type of visual gag, too. Although the lyrics aren't really heard very well - but some might think that the fog just turned out of nowhere but thank god for subtitles so I can understand it pretty well. Johnny then explains again as he sings: It's so easy to fall in love with you.

Johnny then grabs out a trumpet in which he then starts so play. As he plays the trumpet - he is standing right by the moonlight as he plays it. I'm not sure what he is playing exactly to the song but it sure attracts the crowd. I like the part where that Johnny is playing the trumpet rather wildly that his glasses then start to flip which I think is a pretty fun animated part but it could've timed better. In that shot; Kitty Bright sure looks rather ugly.

As he continues to play the trumpet - the band also play to the music as well as dancers, too. In the final shot where it features Johnny, Kitty Bright and the rest of the group. Johnny sings the final part of the song - as well as the supposed conclusion. "Now what else could I do...It's so easy to fall in love with you". As soon as he finishes singing the last part of the song - he and Kitty Bright end up slipping from the log in which they then end up slipping and falling to the ground. Johnny is unconscious from that fall - but Kitty Bright is turned on with his swinging in which Johnny ends up winning the girl at the end of the cartoon and is the hero at the end. Kitty Bright then ends up smooching his face off with kisses as he has kiss marks all over his face. The ending scene where Kitty Bright then kisses his face is a very cute way to end the cartoon.

Overall comments: This cartoon is what sort of reminds me of those Fleischer cartoons that was made in the 1930s. The animation in that cartoon is really substandard - it's really below the quality when everyone else at least showed their quality to be fairly decent. The characters voice actors were really not a very good pairing - especially on the professor who sounded awful. However; I think that you got to give credit that the directors and story guys (like Monahan) have created a really appealing formula of this cartoon - even in the 1930s. Swing was really big back then - so it makes sense to include it in this cartoon to show its popularity. This cartoon may not be a very favourable cartoon in the Warners catalogue - fans might dub this cartoon as "average at best". The music that is shown here is just terribly catchy and very appealing. I think that this is one of the fewest WB cartoons of the 1930s where they have successfully combined popular songs into cartoons.

It really does feel unusual for a Warner Bros. cartoon being made in the 1930s for a reason: well, around this time the evolution of the Warner's humour was still increasing featuring more improvements but this cartoon really shies away from the humour Tex Avery wanted and the other directors following his steps. Cal Dalton and Cal Howard have really approached something different in which they featured a clever idea to feature a college but adding cats for no reason, but I guess it makes it slightly more interesting - and yet combining swing into it. One of the nits I find in this cartoon is that if they're including cats into the cast then why is there basically no gags that relate to cats? They may as well be humans if you ask me and much of the scenes don't even show the cats having tails. Truth is, I particularly don't care for the WB musical cartoons made in the 1930s as they are just tedious, and usually the same but this cartoon is just one of the fewest in that era that I can actually watch more than once (inc. I Love to Singa) but I actually really enjoy the music and even the story of it as well. Despite the weak character animation, and a weak plot - I find that the characters were appealing to me, too. Johnny is obviously the most interesting character but I like how he begins off as a loser but ends up being the man of the hour at the end, no question.